‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Speaks Out on ‘Exhausting’ Experience of Taping Show

by Josh Lanier
(Image Via Getty Images)

When Keshav Shah made it to Jeopardy! he didn’t realize how tiring the entire experience would be. The Georgia Tech graduate student said that there is a major difference between shouting answers at home and being there in person. It’s a much slower, much more plodding game that zaps your mental energy than what we see on television.

“Competing on Jeopardy! is something that I feel very fortunate to have been able to do,” the first-year Ph.D. student told the Department of Bioengineering blog. “It’s obviously a high-stakes affair and is exhausting because they tape an entire week’s worth of shows in one day. However, the entire Jeopardy! crew was super energetic and friendly and they helped make the experience memorable.”

At home, the game moves quickly, making it feel like a sprint. But it’s actually much closer to a marathon, he said, because so much of the game show process is cut for broadcast.

“Being on stage honestly feels a bit surreal, and it is very different compared to playing along at home,” Shah said. “It’s so easy to sit at home and say, ‘Wow, I can’t believe none of the contestants answered that clue correctly,’ but Jeopardy! is nerve-wracking, and things on TV sometimes don’t always go smoothly. The host may misspeak, or the judges may have to make a lengthy ruling on an answer. All those little things can interrupt what viewers perceive as a constant flow of the game.”

Shah finished third on Wednesday’s show.

Sanjay Gupta’s Time As ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Ending

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been at Jeopardy!’s helm for nearly two weeks, making Friday his final show. Shah has a lot of respect for the neurosurgeon and couldn’t believe his luck that Gupta was his guest host.

“His easygoing personality was great for the show. He is definitely someone I admire and have looked up to for his work as a medical professional and correspondent for CNN,” Shah said. “Meeting him was a dream come true.”

Fans and TV critics have given Gupta mostly high marks for his time as host. And Gupta has had nothing but kind things to say about the Jeopardy! production staff.

Gupta is raising money for Odyssey Atlanta during his two-week stint behind the host’s lectern. The charity works with children in under-served and neglected areas of Atlanta to help them reach their potential through education. He said he chose the charity because the pandemic took away nearly a full year of school time for some children.

Jeopardy! matches the amount of money contestants win on the show during a guest-host’s time on the show. The show then donates that amount to the host’s selected charity. So far, the show has donated more than $2 million.

And as of Wednesday’s show, Gupta and his contestants have raised $139,558 for Odyssey Atlanta, according to The Jeopardy Fan blog. And they still have two more days to go.

George Stephanopoulos, co-host of Good Morning America, will take over as guest host on Monday.